Desktop vs Cloud Accounting Software – Pros & Cons

Desktop accounting software is fast losing the popularity battle with cloud accounting software. More and more companies are adopting cloud accounting software for its convenience, cost-effectiveness, and security capabilities.

In this article, we’re to put desktop accounting software against cloud accounting software in several areas and put any doubts to rest.

Convenience/ productivity

Desktop accounting software has been around for a while and is, therefore, a hands-down winner when it comes to ease of use by force of habit. However, that’s when you’re only looking at things from the accountant or bookkeeper’s point of view.

But what about all your sales folk who bring in company revenue and are therefore involved in accounting and invoicing; your marketing folk who spend company capital; your HR/admin people who run payroll and top management who might use the company’s money to entertain clients and travel on business?

Their time means money – literally – because you pay them salaries for their time. Isn’t it important for them to be as productive as possible? Data entry eats into the time that they spend on their core duties and yet it is essential for all those sales earnings and marketing spends and supply chain spends to be clocked.

Cloud accounting software, at least the truly efficient kind, comes with the ability to extract data from photos of documents. It can also be set up such that data flows directly from your business bank account to your books. The system is intelligent and also capable of sorting and categorizing data, providing invoice-related alerts, and shooting out ready-made, standardized invoices. Can you imagine the time saved and productivity achieved?

Error-free data

Cloud accounting software – besides sending data seamlessly from your business bank account to your books and, thereby eliminating human error – also flags up any errors or anomalies in the data.

Additionally, duplicate data entries are automatically weeded out. However, the system also maintains a record of all the deletions (and not just its own). Any deleted data can be tracked down and retrieved with ease. That said, it would be wrong to assume that you either do not need an accountant or that the accountant/ bookkeeper can be completely hands-off. The software is merely a tool in the hands of your accountant. You might however not need to keep expanding your accounts department as your volume of transactions increases.

Of course, in desktop accounting software, all of the above can be pursued and perfected to a reasonable degree by a sufficiently efficient “numbers guy” or “numbers gal” but one has to account for a small margin of human error that in most cases, cannot be eliminated. After all, we’re only humans and cannot boast the accuracy and precision of a machine.


On-premise data is typically more susceptible to hacking or just good old-fashioned hijacking of someone’s computer while they’re not at their desk.

Cloud accounting software needs a login id to be accessed. When you purchase the software you get a good number of login IDs based on the package you choose. That’s one level of security right there. In addition, your data is secured with firewall protection – or even double firewalls in some cases.


Depending on which desktop accounting software you choose and which cloud accounting software you compare it with you might often find that the prices are comparable or that in some cases, cloud accounting software falls cheaper – especially in terms of upfront investment. You can get cloud accounting software for just about 40 pounds per month.

Add to that all the additional productivity (which means a more profitable business) and you can be sure that cloud accounting software has a positive impact on your business’ bottom line.


This is one of cloud accounting software’s biggest wins. Because your books are saved to the cloud, you can access them from anywhere. Moreover, you’ll have access to the most updated version of your books.

Desktop accounting software can be as updated as your accountant can keep it to be fair (but even the most efficient accountants will usually offer a weekly update at best) and yes, you’ll need to often ask someone in the office to forward you the most updated version. 

Business insights

Desktop accounting software gives you all your company’s financial data ready for you to dive into, pore over, and come up with business insights. With a keen eye, you’ll be able to spot supply chain leaks and also identify your most productive people and clients, not to mention areas where you can improve productivity.

Excellent, but what happens if you don’t have a keen eye for data (a lot of company bosses have other talent sets). Or if your keen eye is hard at work in another area of the business.

Cloud accounting software delivers spontaneous and very useful business insights. You’ll save hours of your precious time.

Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself. Get a free trial: simply visit to book a free demo or a free trial today.

Back to top button